Home > Movie Reviews > What is he, an indentured servant? – “The King’s Speech”

What is he, an indentured servant? – “The King’s Speech”

In one of the first scenes of “The King’s Speech,” we follow the Duke of York to a primitive microphone.  As he approaches, everyone stands up, expectant and respectful (he is the son of King George V).  But as he opens his mouth to speak, a hideous echo rings through the crowd, and he stumbles horrendously over his speech.  Colin Firth delivers an incredible portrayal, as the audience oscillates between cringing frustration and utter empathy when his words struggle, choked in his throat.

To the rescue comes Lionel Logue, an excellent Geoffrey Rush as a speech therapist from Australia with some rather unorthodox methods.  The story tells of their journey to overcome the most crippling stammer I have ever seen.  By the prince’s (called Bertie by his family) side remains a generous and compassionate wife.  Helena Bonham Carter, a truly versatile actress, portrays her – she gave us the cruel madness of Bellatrix Lestrange in “Harry Potter” and then the unwavering kindness of Elizabeth.

I can’t get over how great this movie was.  It is such a small slice of a story – it is not trying to encompass the life of King George VI, the name Bertie takes upon coronation, but rather a thin, personal arc.  This detail-focused movie is smooth, with a script that shines through the performances of its actors.  Much of the film is simple dialogue, and the film often places the speaker off-center in a frame (as if giving them space to fill with their words).  There is lovely humor, which is sarcastic without being cynical; in fact, the whole movie is so optimistic, hopeful, and true.  Here, we have England in the darkness before World War II, and yet the movie is one of triumph.

I have long declared my dislike of personal stories, preferring massive, multi-player tales.  However, in the course of the unlikely friendship between Bertie and Lionel, there are such epic moments; of course there are some ups and downs along the way, but overall, their relationship is remarkable.  I definitely place my bets for Rush’s snagging the Best Supporting Actor award – his character came to life with such vividness!

Overall, 5/5 – the movie is puzzlingly rated “R” – supposedly for a few swears that every elementary-school student already knows.  In fact, the movie is beautifully wholesome; I would easily call this the best movie of 2010.  It is a perfect study of the power of a simple story; things don’t get more polished than this.

Best regards,



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